Transportation - Rattanakiri, Cambodia
Banlung has an airfield within the town, but all commercial airlines have stopped servicing Ratanakiri. The only flights were with Mission Aviation Fellowship, in an 8 seater, but these stopped at the end of 2009. Medivacs and charters are available from Helicopters Cambodia. Currently the Ban Lung runway is still a gravel strip, but there are plans to extend it and build a concrete runway, which would make it more likely to attract a new carrier and make cancellations in the wet season less frequent.
The road between Phnom Penh to Banlung - Rattanakiri is fully paved road and in good in year 2017.
It is possible to get buses to Banlung from/to:
- Phnom Penh - Doing this in a single day is now reliable, with 3 'big' buses (Rithmony, Hy Long, GST; R39,000/$9.70) and numerous minivans (R72,000/$18) servicing the route regularly, departing from 6 - 7:30am. The minivans are faster but the free pickup and dropoff can add 2-3 hours to the 8 hour trip.
- Laos- It is possible to buy a ticket to Four Thousand Islands in Laos from Banlung. These are not direct buses; you must take three buses, switching at Stung Treng and at the border, and then a boat to your final destination. Costs $14-18. Despite what you may be told at the Lao Embassy in Phnom Penh, Laos visas have been available on arrival at the border since about October 2009. The reverse trip - from Don Det to Banlung is NOT a full ticket and you will need to pay an additional $5 for a taxi to Banlung from an intersection just south of Stung Treng. You will be essentially dropped off in the middle of nowhere to fend for yourself. It's best to just buy a ticket from Don Det to Stung Treng (about 150,000 kip) and then arrange transport on your own to Banlung.
You can book a Bus Ticket online in advance for a few.
A more expensive option than bus, taking a private taxi from Phnom Penh to Banlung is possible, for about US$120. It's a 5-6 hour drive to the junction near Stung Treng, then 2 hours to Banlung, plus meal breaks. Some taxi drivers in Phnom Penh specialize in this trip. Your hotel/guesthouse will probably be able to help you out.
You can book a Private Taxi online in advance for a few dollars more.
A popular way to travel to Banlung used to involve taking a ferry first to Stung Treng (or Kratie). As of June 2009 these ferries were not running.